par John R. Fischer
, Senior Reporter | September 21, 2021
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center has deployed the first Hyperfine Portable MR System in its home state for the diagnosis of brain injuries.
Known as Swoop, the system is designed to be wheeled to patient bedsides in hospitals, clinics and other settings outside of conventional MR suites to assess brain tissue in real time and help physicians make quick and informed clinical decisions.
Two of the solutions are now operating in the provider’s emergency room and Comprehensive Stroke Center operating room. This makes the center one of the first in the country to utilize the technology.
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"We can utilize this system in multiple time-critical situations ranging from treating stroke patients in the emergency department to performing post-op imaging to ensure an operation has been successful,” Dr. Shahid Nimjee, co-director of Ohio State Wexner Medical Center's Comprehensive Stroke Center, said in a statement.
Equipped with a .064 Tesla magnet, Swoop has a lower field strength than standard MR systems, which shortens screening protocols and eliminates comprehensive metal detection to speed up scanning and diagnosis. It can provide T1, T2, FLAIR and DWI (with ADC map) tissue contrasts in minutes and also requires no shielding. Results are displayed on a wireless Apple iPAD.
The system scored FDA clearance
in 2020 and can be used in pediatrics, intensive care, the ED and urgent care clinics. It can even be used on naval and cruise ships at sea and for sports medicine applications. Additionally, it has a user-friendly, simple interface, can be plugged into a standard outlet, and consumes significantly less power. These features reduce the cost of it to a fraction of that for a traditional MR unit.
Since receiving clearance, Swoop has been used in a number of hospitals nationwide, including Yale New Haven Hospital, UCI Medical Center and the University of Illinois, and Chicago's Surgical Innovation Training Lab (SITL). The Yale School of Medicine and Massachusetts General Hospital used it in a recent study to assess stroke patients
. Neuroradiologists identified 80% of intracerebral hemorrhages from the images that Swoop produced, making the study the first to validate portable MR for showing clinical issues and risks associated with brain hemorrhages. This suggests that such imaging could be used when scanners are unavailable.
“There is no question this device can help save lives in resource-limited settings, such as rural hospitals or developing countries,” said Kevin Sheth, professor of neurology and neurosurgery at Yale School of Medicine and co-corresponding author of the research, in a statement.
Hyperfine recently raised $90 million
in a Series D funding round to commercialize the system in multiple countries. The company plans to produce other solutions for MR and brain monitoring following its merger with Liminal Sciences and HealthCor Catalio Acquisition Corp.
into one company with a total enterprise value of approximately $580 million.
Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center is currently using the solution to help nurses keep up with imaging demands and the surge of COVID-19 cases in the ED.